I know what you’re thinking…
This book was released a few weeks ago so why is Silly Point only reviewing it now?
Well as much as I’d like to ‘big-up’ my blog, I’m not yet at a stage where publishers are sending me copies of cricket related books pre-release. The South American rainforest were originally charging £15.99 so I waited a week or two ‘til the price dropped to a more like my batting average £7.99!
If I were only allowed a single word to sum up Jonathan Trott’s autobiography it would be ‘honest’. Unless of course he’s not being in which case he fooled me. This is my blog though so I’m not only allowed one word, I’m allowed a century of words or even a Len Huttonesque 364 words if I like.
If you’re expecting some lighthearted memoir about playing bat ‘n’ ball you won’t get it here. Trott’s mental health is a constant in this book and he deserves credit for being brave enough to put it all out there. Many members of the general public may think that professional sportsmen and women have it easy and that to work a shift alongside them in the docks, at the station or on the line would teach them a thing or two about hard work. Most employees get to return home at the end of every day though. That’s not the case for cricketers. Even when playing at home players can be away for a week at a time and when on tour they can be away for months on end. On top of that every action, every decision and every learning curve is seen, analysed and reviewed in the public domain. By the time Trott’s international career came to an end all this was on his mind too much for him to be the run machine that he had been when immersed in what he refers to as his ‘bubble’. He makes valid points about the seemingly premature end to the international careers of Graeme Swann, Matt Prior and of course himself. He also makes some not so subtle hints to the England management about the necessity for ‘proper’ warm-up matches before Test Match series. Advice that Silly Point thinks the ECB would do well to heed.
As you read Unguarded you gain a sense of how competitive the author is. Of course you’d expect a professional sportsman to be competitive. Trott clearly believes that he and Kevin Pietersen benefited from their tough schooling in South Africa rather than having played sport at a young age in England.
The book isn’t exactly in chronological order and the likes of Alastair Cook, Andy Flower, Ashley Giles, Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Strauss and Trott’s wife Abi all had plenty of homework to do as their written contributions regularly complement Trott’s writing. If anything there is a little too much of this early on which hinders the reader from finding fluency.
It just occurred to me as I’m writing this, in the words of New Radicals, “I hope I didn’t just give away the ending”. Presumably if you’ve picked up this book you have a reasonable idea of how Trott’s career played out and this read provides a brave, honest and passionate insight into the mind of a man that churned out 6792 international runs across all formats for England. It’s great to see him piling on the runs for Warwickshire again at domestic level. We don’t do 5 stars or marks out of ten ratings here at Silly Point. We have a far more complex scoring system.
Jonathan Trott: Unguarded scores…
82 not out